Night Train 50 review by Vox

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 8.4 (32 votes)
Vox: Night Train 50

Price paid: $ 600

Purchased from: Willis Music

Sound — 7
I generally play metal, but I love me some blues and rock. I bought this amp because I thought and felt it would be versatile enough for everything I wanted. Although that wasn't fully the case. The clean channel is quite amazing. I dare say that it sounds just as good as an AC30. It has Low-Mid-High EQ knobs with gain for the clean channel. It sounds amazing. Onward to the thick channel which is actually just a switch you flip that takes over the clean channel. The thick channel does not have an EQ and basically is only controlled by the gain knob. Vox did this because they were confident in the sound but honestly, I must say I was disappointed in it. I was hoping it would my ticket to a fantasy blues world but sadly I found this channel quite sad. It's okay, but it could have been a lot better. The more gain you put the more fuzzy it really gets and you end up with a "Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones sound. It's okay if you're looking for that though. Last we have the girth channel which is the channel I use the most. The girth channel has its own gain knob along with its own EQ and a volume knob so you can adjust it along with your clean channel. I liked this channel at first a lot, but once I really started using it, I ended up really disliking the distortion for what I was using it for. It's more of an 80's hard rock distortion than like modern metal. If you're into that, then it's great, but if not it's hard to find that tone you want. Off to the side there is also a tone cut knob which affects the tone a bit as well as a tight switch which cuts the low end and gives you a slight change of sound. It has a bit of versatility, but overall it wasn't truly what I was looking for.

Overall Impression — 8
Overall this amp is okay for what I do. If you like metal, it might be better to invest in a Peavey 6505+ or something else rather than this, but if you want a good 80's tone (cleans and distortion) then this is perfect for that. Right now I run from a Godin Freeway into a Hardwire Tube Overdrive into a Hardwire Valve Distortion into the amp on the girth channel. I obtain a Dual Rectifier sound this way. (not an exact, but close enough to where I'm happy) I checked out every video I could and really studied this amp before I bought it and still ended up not 100% satisfied. Although I am slowly learning more in the world of tone I think that my ears tricked me this time. Although no matter what, I do plan on using this amp for my cleans in my band and get a brutal amp like the 6505+ for my distortion. I would definitely recommend this amp if you want that AC30 clean sound without having to fork out the extra dough.

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Reliability & Durability — 9
So far I have not had any problems with it besides the small pre amp tube problem. But that really didn't affect too much even when it was going on. It's been nice and reliable at all times and I have and still will gig with it until I find something that suits me more. I still stress concern over how the amp is so open and wonder why they would do that. The amp does get kinda HOT when played but what do you expect when driving some tubes with distortion? Overall I say it's safe, reliable and I would use it whenever I need it! I've owned it for a little over 2 and a half months and so far it's been my main weaponry for practice and gigs.

Features — 7
I bought this amp new as I was looking around for my first tube amp and this really caught my eye. It contains three channels, a clean, a thick, and a girth channel. I will go over these in the sound section. It also contains an effects loop, an optional foot switch jack, and can be used as 16 ohms mono, or 8 ohms stereo. The Vox Night Train 50 watt head is plenty loud enough to drown out a drummer. The only thing that worries me is that it did not come with a case and the head has that signature Vox look but has holes where you can see the tubes on the inside. I have had an issue with unloading it in a moist environment. The pre amp tubes needed to be changed as well as they weren't the best. Overall though, the design is nice and it looks like it can take some damage.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    They really need to make a 100w version of the night train, if not a 250w version for us metalheads out there, I love the vintage look of the Vox diamond grilles, it is a pitty they decided to stop doing the AC100 and the 412 cabinets
    I own this amp and it's great has good clean and a great rock sound. I play in A rock band and this amp really brings a lot to the table. I've never had an amp sound this good I will play it till the wheels fall off. Ps sounds great thru my cheap Marshall mg cab 250 for the cab and 350 for the head think I got a good deal
    I love this amp, but I whole heartedly agree with Kajinaga's review of the "thick" channel. It is extremely the extent that I have asked my local amp guru if he could get in there and tweek the tone. As noted above, the EQ is bypassed when in the Thick setting, so you can't make any adjustments to the tone. Very unfortunate considering how bad it sounds. The only other complaint I have (which I am curious if others have experienced) is that when I use the effects loop the tone becomes muddy and muffled. After trying every possible combination of pedal orders, I ended up not using the effects loop at all. It's as if the effects loop dampens the signal. Any thougths on that issue would be greatly appreciated.